Kendra Steiner Editions

March 10, 2013

Don’t Look Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:22 pm

           

lubbock 010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D  O  N  ‘  T      L  O  O  K      B  A  C  K

 

                                            I

 

two          lean            sixty-watt  bulbs

 

              separate,  unadorned  by  bases or covers

 

      hang  about  a  foot  from  the  textured ceiling

 

 (christened with the contents of exploded Coke cans   

                 and  rusty water

                           from  unrepaired  roof leaks)

 

    of  the Live Oak Washateria    .    the street outside

 

       deserted   

                               save for a few nightshift workers,

 

   expired  inspection stickers on their pea-soup

                   green        used cars                         or

 

  those   driving  home  alone  from the last call,

          trying   , slowly,    to stay within those weaving

                 yellow stripes

 

                           three of the seven washers

                           sit, broken, half-full of dark water

                           sour-stinking,   clouded,   they’d be

                           attracting mosquitoes  if any   rain

                           had fallen     in the last ten weeks

 

          not enough light to tell

      if  the  clothes  are clean

 

                                              as  intended

 

                   a quick cigarette (while

                   sitting outside Marie’s Ethnic Hair Care

                   next door)          fills   me   with

                         nicotine     courage  and  animation

 

while  my  security-guard uniform  and  underwear

         and  socks   and  two towels

                 tumble  halfway-dry .

 

       leaning    forward   to  read  the headlines on

                 yesterday’s  Express-News  through

                         the caged front of the bottle-green

                               newspaper  machine:

 

Bush vetoes child health insurance plan

*

Mayors along Texas-Mexico border protest

proposed border wall

 

 

             the  uniform must be kept clean

 

                    protecting  someone else’s   property

 

                           the lawns mowed

                                    transients shooed away

                              hedges manicured

                     soda-straws and Doral filters removed

                          from the parking lot

 

back inside among the laundry,       talk-radio

      bangs  the  drum      slowly   and   surely, 

              in heartbeat-like measure ,  preparing us

 

    for the next overseas  invasion      and occupation

 

             create  enough  of  an  internal  storm,

         and we’ll  shoot  out    the  mirror  ,

  blissfully unaware        sinking  into  grotesquerie ,

       while  FoxNews  tells us 

              we’re the fairest of them all

 

                              

                                       II

 

this  San Antonio  crockpot 

                                            three-quarters  full :

 

      a  stew  of    whispers   and    gestures

 

                   of    details      and    textures

 

                   of    weeds       and    warehouses

 

                   of    haircuts   and    hemmed jeans

 

                   of    chlorine   and    ash

 

 

 

         the pre-sunrise remnant,             family–

            heirs               not  of  this  rounded world,

        smothering as it sands off our rough edges

             into sameness.

                       No–     heirs  elevated  into

                                            the  fullness  of  time

 

 

                               III

  

                       the furniture     loosens

               the  body  struggles

       the  mind’s  wiring  frays

 

       arms and legs  flailing away

               against the river

                       rising to reclaim its own

 

 

                                  the web    unravels

                                             into        lines

                                                     of  a  curvature

 

                                                     so  subtle

                                             as  to   be

                                  unnoticed

 

***

 

outside   again

 

towels  still                  not  dry

 

***

 

arrangement                                               alignment

 

spilled   Budweiser

(beechwood, rice, and gravel)

 

 

echo   of an echo      of

a  train’s  horn,

falling   tonal   contours

east  of  town

 

 

moths   scurrying  in  space,

feather-stepping   in  time,

 

artificial light         distracting them

from  night-blooming  flowers

and  pollination

 

 

bending   headlights  and muffled

car stereos       as  4 a.m.   

employees  arrive at

Taqueria Jalisco #3

two  doors  down

 

 

clicking and droning of

air-conditioners cycling

on and off

from all directions

through  the  night

 

 

pure experience     translated

                             from   sensation

                                              into words,

                             dubbed into English,

                             the  line-readings

               not matching  the lip movements

         or  the  gestures 

   or  the   facial  expressions

 

 

another  one  in     the sea of faces,

neither   unjust  nor  courageous,

back for another round            another shift

another  walk        on either side of the third rail

another   danse macabre      around the void

with a  glorious     pasted-on      sh*t-eating  grin

houston trip, late august 2010 021

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